This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays! 

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:

lynette@stunewslaguna.com

 

Celebrate and enjoy your

birthday!

 

August 15

Kenny Cosca

Chuck Lennon

Sarah Lawson

Michael Rosas

 

August 16

Derek Erickson

Alex Lawrence

John Meehan

Jessica Naresh

 

August 17

Lloyd Charton

Shawn Fung 

Blake Hite

Loraine Hollingsworth

Virginia Pool

Teri Rogers

 

August 18

Faye Baglin

Lisette Chel

Greg Friedman

 

August 19 

Fania Martinez

 

August 20

Kristina Clemens

Roark Gourley

Cristian Minea

Tracee Schraeder

 

August 21

Stephen Bramucci

John Brown

Beth Fitchet Wood

Lorraine Leon Jones

Sound Spectrum

Faves

 

1. Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club 50th (w/extras)

2. Arcade Fire, Everything Now

3. George Thorogood, Party of One 

4. Grateful Dead, Long Strange Trip (S.T.) 

5. Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie, Self-Titled

6. Lana Del Rey, Lust For Life

7. Manchester Orchestra, A Black Mile to The Surface

8. Haim, Something to Tell You

9. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.

10. Foster the People, Sacred Hearts Club

11. Lorde, Melodrama

12. Chainsmokers, Memories: Do Not Open

13. John Mayer, The Search for Everything

14. Imagine Dragons, Evolve

15. Violent Femmes, 2 Mics & The Truth

16. Mac DeMarco, This Old Dog

17. Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up

18. Thievery Corporation, The Temple of I & I

19. Phoenix, Ti Amo

20. Chris Cornell, Higher Truth

Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy494-5959

Bluebird Music in the Park is just around the corner

Bluebird Music in the Park concerts will begin on July 16 and continue every Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. until August 27.

Here’s the listing:

7/16: Cubensis (Grateful Dead Music)

7/23: Tom Nolan Band (Blues)

7/30: Hollywood U2

8/6: Stone Soul

8/13: Los Pinguos (Argentinian)

8/20: Upstream (Reggae/Calypso)

8/27: Springsteen Experience

Click on photo for a larger image

Music in the Park is always fun, whatever decade is celebrated

The City asks concert-goers to note the following:

The concerts are free and funded by the lodging establishments.

No dogs are allowed in the park.

No smoking is allowed on the sidewalk or inside the park.

Alcohol is allowed with a full meal. 

Free trolley service is available to the park.

Police Header

Laguna Life And People 042914


Holly Morrell has a truly heart-warming tale to tell

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

Photos by MARY HURLBUT

Holly Morrell has a loving and compassionate heart. But it’s defective.

In all the good ways a heart can work; in caring for others, by giving back to the community, and enriching the world with her healthy spirit, Holly’s on top of the world. But in all the bad ways a heart can be broken, literally, that’s in her chest too.

Before she was born, people considered it a shame that her father’s mother had died so young. Even when her father’s sister died at the age of three, it was just one of those tragic things that happen. Thirty years ago the medical world considered cardiac arrest as a relationship to lifestyle, activity, or medication. 

But when Holly’s father, Chuck Morrell, was 57 years old he required a heart transplant, and then two of Chuck’s twin brother’s children died. One survived a full cardiac arrest at the age of 14. 

Finally, cardiologists at the National Institute of Health identified the genetic component doing its dirty work.

The Morrrell’s have suffered the loss of six of their 11 family members due to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Today, two live with devices implanted in their chests to prevent sudden cardiac arrest, and one received a heart transplant in 2010, as Holly’s father did in 1995.

Holly Morrell, champion of the heart

Holly was diagnosed with the condition herself in 2002. She endures and lives to fight on, after multiple surgeries to correct her implanted heart devices, and a full open-heart surgery two years ago.

Caring for others

“When my cousins died, it had a major impact on me,” Holly said. “I still had not been diagnosed, but I knew I wanted to start a screening program in memory of my loved ones lost, and save young people. More often than not, this is a preventable tragedy.”

Holly set out to learn more about early detection of heart problems. Genetic abnormalities of the heart are rare, but there are many other types of abnormalities as well that can be detected before an unthinkable tragedy strikes. 

“Even seemingly normal, healthy young people – athletes – die from sudden cardiac arrest every three days,” is one of the sobering statistics that Holly is trying to defy. The youngest person she has identified with a heart defect so far was a 9 year-old, and the oldest is a 60 year-old. It can happen to anyone.

Fifteen years ago she begged and borrowed the necessary mobile equipment and set out to perform screenings at high school athletic physicals. The Heartfelt Cardiac Projects started with little more than Holly’s compassion and determined spirit. Heartfelt screenings are her raison d’etre.

Giving back

“I didn’t choose this. This chose me,” Holly says, “Maybe it’s the reason I’ve survived. I feel incredibly blessed, even privileged to find my purpose in life.” 

Putting aside the grief her family has endured, Holly accentuates the positive. “I’m serving my mission, and it is unbelievably rewarding to know that you’ve saved a life.”

To date, Heartfelt Cardiac Projects have performed more than 30,000 screenings. About 10% of all screenings find some anomaly, and 2% are potentially life-threatening. And every life matters.

Click on photo for a larger image

 

Holly (right) with some of the kids whose hearts were saved

 thanks to Heartfelt screenings (left to right): Zack Berens, Ryan O’Hare, 

Cheyne Jernigan, and Dillon Gustafson

Enriching the world

One of the hardest things for non-profits and the big-hearted people who drive that engine of passion, is that there’s a business side required to make all the wheels move forward.

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects require screeners, all of whom have been volunteers so far, and expensive mobile equipment able to travel to the school sites they serve all over Southern California. To take this community-based service into the future, Heartfelt Projects would like some heartfelt partners. 

Donations are hugely important, as this small operation handles massive amounts of data, and utilizes precise equipment. A top of the line mobile screening machine, for example, runs in the vicinity of $80,000. “I’m not a fundraiser,” Holly says. “I was naïve and wanted to save lives and spare grief for others. Now I’m realizing I need help for growth.” To keep the non-profit screenings going forward, she has started a GoFundMe campaign with a modest fundraising goal of $25,000. 

She jokes, “I’m holding myself hostage! Send $1,000 ransom!”

In all seriousness, Holly hopes to raise enough money to buy a new portable echo-cardiogram. The Stu News Laguna community is invited to donate in any amount: http://www.gofundme.com/HeartfeltCardiacProjects

Strong-willed as she is, Holly could use extra hands on deck. One day she envisions having actual paid help. “I have great volunteers,” she said. “But I really need to be able to pay people to help me. I can’t do it alone.”

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects will be screening more than 1,000 students in the next couple of months including many at Laguna Beach High School.

The Laguna Beach School District through the Athletic Boosters will be making Heartfelt screenings available during the next athletics’ physicals on June 3 and 4. The screenings are $85. The same tests normally cost as much as $1500 and are usually not covered by insurance.

Journey to the top of the world

“I believe my life was spared in order for me to continue my life’s work,” said Holly. “Often the gift of purpose is found through great adversity.”

Holly has time on her side now, but she also knows that every minute is precious.

Sudden cardiac death occurs every 90 seconds in the U.S. That is an ironic fact for Holly as she notes that is the exact time she was given to live when her heart failed two years ago.

The surgeon who performed the open-heart surgery that saved her life appreciated the full impact of those 90 seconds. The problem area of Holly’s heart resided under her left collarbone, a difficult area to find and repair. “He told me months after the surgery that it had been a touch and go situation,” she said. “He really didn’t know if I’d make it. My blood pressure was plummeting, and I was bleeding out. He had 90 seconds to fix my heart. That’s all that separated me from life and death.”

Holly only remembers waking up briefly after the surgery. “He kissed me on my forehead, and said, ‘I’m glad you made it’.”

These days Holly is good as gold. She checks in with the doctor every three months, and does home monitoring where the device in her heart actually sends a signal through a system to the doctor’s phone. 

“Even though I tried to put on a brave face I truly had a hard time imagining any quality of life ever again. I was wrong!” she says. “I am beyond grateful. My life is both a miracle and a blessing and I wish to cherish every 90 seconds of it!”

She’s not sure the doctor would approve, but she’s feeling good enough to get back into tennis, and her former partners are thrilled. And her beautiful dog, Sophie, is happy to get back to long walks together.

Sophie loves a nice walk once again with her pal Holly

There is no reason to doubt this optimist and activist. Last year alone she saved eight people’s lives with early detection. Her Heartfelt project has detected thousands of young people with heart defects, and provides the service at an affordable price - a fraction of the cost it would be in hospital, and the outpouring of love and gratitude from the families of loved-ones she has helped to save is palpable. 

May Heartfelt Cardiac Projects grow and flourish just as Holly Morrell’s heart does.

Anyone, of any age, can schedule a screening at the website: www.heartfeltcardiacprojects.org

Library Events

August

 

Sat, Aug 19

Family Activity 

9 a.m.- 3 p.m.  

Get creative! Let your imagination run wild! Children under 12 are encouraged to come to the library during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal crafts. Adult supervision is recommended. 

Sat, Aug 19

Poetry Workshop

2 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Participants should bring 10 copies of a poem they wish to have read and work-shopped.  Each poem will be read by the poet and perhaps by another reader. Participants then respond with emphasis on positive comments and constructive suggestions. Recommended for advanced poets—this is not a workshop for beginners. Meets in the Community Room. Contact John Gardiner @949-715-7507 for more information.

Mon, Aug 21

Third Street Writers Group Ink

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Serious writers working on projects (short stories, novels, plays) meet to share feedback and support.  This is not a workshop for beginners. Please contact the library for additional information.

Tue, Aug 22

Author Talk with Pattie S. Grimm 

5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Come visit The Branch for a wonderful talk about Pattie S. Grimm’s book, entitled “Quiet Women Never Changed History!” Pattie will be here from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.  See you there!

Wed, Aug 23

Toddler Storytime

10:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. 

Calling all toddlers! You are invited to enjoy our new Wednesday storytime. Stories, songs, fingerplay, dancing and more will encourage a love of books and learning in a fun and interactive environment. Come for the stories and stay for playtime afterward.

Thu, Aug 24

Family Storytime 

10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m. 

Welcome to the Peapod Academy. Join some of the cutest babies, toddlers, & preschoolers in town and adults of their choice at the Library. Little peas will enjoy books & storytime, songs & music, fingerplays, movement, hands on activities, arts & crafts, and other cadets. Each week has a different theme.  Get to know others and support your little one’s developmental skills. No preregistration required.

 

Laguna Beach Library

363 Glenneyre St.

www.ocpl.org

949-497-1733

  Laguna Beach Books Bi-weekly Bestsellers

Novels

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham 

The House of Spies by Daniel Silva

Non-Fiction

Behave by Robert M. Sapoisky 

Conscience of a Conservative by Jeff Flake

Daring to Drive by Manal Al- Sharif

Children’s Books

This Is a Poem That Heals Fish by Jean-Pierre Simeon  

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Something Amazing by Steve Fawley

Staff Recommendation

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny 

 

1200 S Coast Hwy

949.494.4779

www.lagunabeachbooks.com

 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

Email: Lynette@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc

949.715.1736